Montgomery County Officer Shot, Killed in Silver Spring

we will do everything in our power to ascertain what transpired this morning"

What to Know

  • A Montgomery County police officer was fatally shot in a parking garage in Silver Spring
  • The officer was identified as Thomas J. Bomba, a 13-year veteran of the department
  • Police said they were investigating the case as a homicide, but did not believe there was an active threat to the community

A Montgomery County police officer was shot and killed in the line of duty Monday morning in downtown Silver Spring, and a homicide investigation is underway. 

Officer Thomas J. Bomba was a 13-year veteran of the police department. He was 38 and was married with two children. 

Bomba was found shot in a parking garage at Fenton Street and Ellsworth Drive, in the center of a busy commercial district. Just before he was found, he called for backup. 

Investigators will determine who killed Bomba, Acting Police Chief Marcus Jones said. 

"We continue to investigate this event, and we will do everything in our power to ascertain what transpired this morning," he said at a news conference Monday afternoon. 

At about 8:49 a.m., Bomba said by radio that he had encountered what police called a "disorderly subject." 

"I got flagged down. I guess there's a bunch of kids jumping around on the edge of the [inaudible] parking garage. Ellsworth and Fenton," Bomba told the dispatcher. He sounded calm. 

Fellow officers reached him in three to four minutes and found him suffering from a gunshot wound, Jones said. 

"Officer down. Shot! Shot!" an officer can be heard shouting in police audio. 

"Shut down everything! Get everybody down here," another officer ordered. 

Bomba was rushed to MedStar Washington Hospital Center, where he died.

A large number of officers, some in full-body tactical gear, searched blocks of Silver Spring and shut down the area for hours. No one was found. 

"To say it's all hands on deck, that's an understatement," Capt. Tom Jordan said at a news conference Monday morning. 

"We've got the area on lockdown to find who would have done this," he said.

Many officials expressed sadness for Bomba, his family and his police department. 

"We are heartbroken by the death of Montgomery County Police Officer Thomas J. Bomba today in the line of duty," Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan said. "Our prayers are with Officer Bomba’s family, the Montgomery County Police, Fire and Rescue community, and with all those who serve and protect our communities."

Bomba's own gun was found at the scene. Jones said it's possible that someone shot him with the weapon.

When asked if it's possible that Bomba's wound was self-inflicted, Jones said, "At this point, we do not have any evidence to support that." 

No information on possible suspects was released. 

Police will review surveillance footage and conduct ballistics tests to try to determine what happened. Bomba was wearing a body camera at the time of the shooting, Jones said. 

Police asked anyone who may have had contact with Bomba on Monday to contact them. 

"If you see something, say something," Jordan said. "Call us right away." 

Three nearby schools were on "shelter in place" status: East Silver Spring Elementary, Sligo Creek Elementary School and Silver Spring International Middle School. The doors were locked but instruction continued as usual, officials said.

UPDATE (Oct. 14, 2019, 11:14 a.m. ET): A Maryland State Police helicopter responded to the scene, but Bomba was taken to a hospital via ambulance, police said. Sources previously told News4 the officer was transported via medevac.  

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